Cove Beach Tidal Pools: Cape May versus Nature 2016

Cape May, NJ -  As Cape May regulars know, the only thing permanent about Cove Beach is change. The little elbow of sand grows and shrinks and morphs into new shapes with every passing storm or high tide.

But someone forgot to tell that to the city of Cape May.   Cape May shifted into a major offense Tuesday, rolling out the heavy equipment on Cove Beach to do battle with a tidal pool at the Cove.

The bulldozers spent the entire day scraping up sand close to the ocean and carting it just a few yards away – dumping the sand into the large tidal pool that started forming naturally, after last fall and winter’s Nor’easters.

The sand digging had to be approved by the state, because that area of the beach is part of a Precautionary Zone, safeguarding nesting endangered shorebirds.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection gave Cape May a transfer of sand permit, to be used one time only. The  DEP gave the one time permit because there are no endangered birds currently nesting in that area.     

Three Cape May bulldozers worked hard all day Tuesday, pushing and scooping sand from what is known technically as the “borrow” zone, then depositing it into the flat tidal pool, while sea gulls looked on.

After the one day sand transfer, Cove Beach did look slightly different the next day.
You could see the tracks the bulldozers had left.

The tracks ran right along the new tidal pool.
Yes, the tidal pool was still there at high tide.  Just a different shape.

DEP says if Cape May wants to give it another try in the future, they’ll have to apply for a new permit.

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About Jane Kashlak

Jane Kashlak - a journalist, gardener and Cape Island resident - is writing a book.